karnataka: Administering second dose a challenge for Karnataka; only 47% covered | Bengaluru News – Times of India


BENGALURU: Only 47% of the eligible population in Karnataka has been administered the second dose of Covid-19 vaccine. Health department authorities say the virus has been forgotten by a large majority of the population and not many are coming forward to take the second dose.
The second dose coverage in 18 of the 31 districts is less than the state’s 47%, as per data with the health and family welfare department as on November 5. In some of the districts, first dose vaccination picked up pace only August onwards when the vaccine supply was streamlined. Haveri is among such districts. While 85% of Haveri’s eligible population is jabbed with the first dose, only 33% has taken the second dose too.
Bengaluru Urban district has seen the highest second dose coverage at 74%, followed by Ramanagara (58%), BBMP (57%) and Kodagu (56%).
Dr Raghavendra HS, district health officer, Haveri, said a majority of its first dose beneficiaries have just completed or are yet to complete 84 days for availing the second dose. “It’s true that the demand for vaccines has come down. But a majority of our first dose beneficiaries will be due for second dose sometime soon,” he said.
As of now, people are not coming forward to take the second shot. The trend is the same across the country, said Dr Arundhathi Chandrashekar, mission director, National Health Mission, Karnataka. “As cases have come down, the public feels there is no Covid. We are trying to persuade people to come forward to take the second dose. We can’t force anyone. But healthcare staffers have been trying to bring about awareness,” she said.
Karnataka’s first dose vaccination coverage is 87%.
However, Dr Arundhathi said most of the vaccines are being administered towards the second dose from October onwards. “Of the total doses administered in October, 67% were used for the second dose and 33% for first,” she said.
The health department had sent its officers to tour some districts in North Karnataka to assess the Covid situation, and check if Covid-appropriate behaviour is being followed and look into ways to ramp up vaccination coverage.
“In some North Karnataka districts like Yadgir and Vijayapura, there is not much adherence to Covid- appropriate behaviour in public places. Mask usage is ignored as people don’t see any Covid cases in their surroundings. They think with decline in cases, everything is back to pre-Covid times. They are either not aware of the upsurge in infections in some European countries or think the pandemic is over,” said officials.
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Sagar Biswas

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